FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Local leaders and first responders in South Florida are stepping up their efforts at getting vaccines to those most vulnerable to the virus.
On Friday, first responders went to the homes of Holocaust survivors and other seniors across South Florida to give them their vaccine doses.
“Today is a very special operation for us, we’re going to go into Holocaust survivors’ homes administering the vaccine,” said Davie Fire Rescue Capt. Miguel Ferrer.
The effort underway in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County was announced by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Eighteen fire rescue departments have been tasked with the mission.
“I’m a little scared, but I’m very happy,” said 93-year-old Holocaust survivor Harriet Khosrova. “I’m extremely happy that I will be one of those to get the shot.”
Rescue crews have reached out to the Holocaust survivors and scheduled appointments for them.
Ferrer explained one of the biggest challenges they face in reaching this particular group.
“Technology mainly,” he said, “so we have to reach out, make sure that they know that when we do call it’s not some kind of scam of any sort, so we take that extra time to explain to them what we’re doing, and we’re very patient.”
By Tuesday, 900 survivors are set to have their first doses.
As vaccinations continue across South Florida, the Biden Administration promises to speed up and expand the rollout.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has asked health experts on her team to begin what she calls a 30-day deep-dive into medical data on positivity rates and health protocol enforcement.
She said she hopes this analysis will help drive down the positivity rate below the 5% mark to minimize community spread.
The effort of vaccinating the most vulnerable to the coronavirus comes as Johnson & Johnson applied for emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine.
If it gets approval from the FDA, experts said it could be a game-changer in boosting scarce supplies.
It only requires one shot and can be stored in much warmer temperatures compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
“Although it wasn’t the 94% and 95% that we’ve seen with Moderna and Pfizer, in the critical area of keeping people out of the hospital and making sure they didn’t die, it did very, very well,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
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